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From The Ground Up

Cheese And Fleas; One Good, One Bad

By Pamela Redwine

You know the holidays are approaching when you receive your MSU cheese letter.  Letters from the Extension office went out last week. If you are interested in purchasing MSU cheese for the holidays and did not get a letter, please contact the Extension Service and we will get it ordered for you.  If you are filling out an order form that you received from the MSU Cheese Store – please make sure you write on the order form that “Yalobusha County will pick up.”  You can mail the order form back to the cheese store or bring it to the Extension office in Coffeeville and we will send it for you.

Horticulture Tips

Cooler temperatures may tempt gardeners to prune woody ornamentals now. This is not the time for major pruning, particularly spring flowering things like azaleas, forsythia, or blueberries. The plants are now setting the buds for next year’s flowers and pruning now will reduce the number of flowers next spring.

Apple and pecan growers should be vigilant to remove diseased leaves as they fall. The leaves should be burned or destroyed to help prevent spread of the foliar diseases.

Keep Fleas & Ticks out of Your Lawn

While fleas and ticks are not damaging to the turf they can be quite troublesome to humans and pets.  Not only do they cause irritating painful bites but they can also transmit serious diseases.  Ticks and fleas are very hardy and can survive many months waiting for a suitable host.  Depending on the species ticks may seek several hosts before completing their life cycle starting with small animals or birds then progressively seek larger mammals such as people.

To limit the potential for both fleas and ticks in your lawn the following tips will help.  They are usually brought into the home lawn aboard pets or other animals including wild animals therefore, the first step is to control them on the animals that frequent the area.  For your pets applying appropriate collars, repellants and insecticides will help. Do not allow them to roam wooded areas and carry ticks back into the lawn.  

For wild animals and strays limit their access by fencing, lights, etc. Keep vegetation cut low to discourage deer and other animals from entering the lawn.  And lastly if ticks or fleas do infest your lawn use appropriate insecticidal sprays to control them.  It is best to treat the entire lawn but the most obvious areas where they will be concentrated will be where pets rest, along paths or trails that are traveled by wildlife, around building perimeters and on any tall weedy vegetation.

You can also reduce the chance of being bitten by fleas and ticks by protecting yourself when working or playing where they may be.  Tuck pants legs into tops of boots or socks.  Keep shirttails in and use repellents such as permethrin or DEET.


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